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WikiLeaks: Dalai Lama Urges Focus on Climate Change in Tibet

The Dalai Lama and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, by “Fast Company”

In one of the secret cables published by WikiLeaks, the Dalai Lama urges the United States to focus on climate change in Tibet.

Rather than expending time and energy on the political dispute between his country and China, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet says that climate change is the top priority for Tibet.

“The political agenda should be sidelined for five to 10 years, and the international community should shift its focus to climate change on the Tibetan plateau,” he told Timothy Roemer, the US ambassador to India in a meeting last August.

Roemer quotes the Dalai Lama as saying that “melting glaciers, deforestation and increasingly polluted water from mining projects were problems that cannot wait, but the Tibetans could wait five to 10 years for a political solution.”

The issue of climate change in the Himalayas is grave and has prompted the government of Nepal to hold meetings at Mount Everest’s Base Camp to raise awareness.

“Climate change in Tibet affects all of Asia,” Tibetan Youth Congress joint secretary Tenzin Norsang told Asia Times. “Then of course, the global climate campaigners will join us to pressure China. Climate is a way to keep the issue of Tibet at a global level and gain us more supporters.”

The Dalai Lama has frequently raised environmental issues, but never with such urgency.